New York is home to millions of commuters, and drunk drivers present a danger to their safety. People can make mistakes, such as getting behind the wheel while under the influence. First-time offenders should expect to pay the price for a DWI offense, but the penalties might not be exceedingly severe. However, repeat offenders may find the court system imposes harsher penalties.
Repeat offenses and related penalties
Since repeat offenders display a continued public safety threat, the penalties become more severe. Some penalties, such as heavy fines, seek to discourage continued offenses. Jail terms serve to keep a dangerous driver off the roads.
In New York, persons convicted of drunk driving offenses may lose their driving privileges. The laws focus on the driver’s past record covering 25 years. The number of drunk/drugged driving convictions, along with a review of serious offenses, determine whether the person ends up denied relicensing for a set timeframe.
Five or more drugged/drunk driving incidents over a driver’s lifetime may result in a permanent lifetime driver’s license ban in New York. DMV penalties might not be the most concerning issues a driver faces, either.
Fines and prison time
A first-time drunk driving conviction in New York could result in a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to one year in jail. The courts could show some leniency to a first-time offender who did not cause an accident. Repeat offenders might receive more punitive sentences.
A second offense may result in a maximum fine of $5,000 and up to four years in jail. A third offense sees the penalties increase, with the maximum fine being $10,000 and the maximum prison sentence topping seven years.
Drivers could face additional charges, such as reckless endangerment or hit-and-run. Plea bargaining might be worth exploring based on the particulars.